The US Food and Drug Adminstration has approved the first noninvasive,
potentially ablative therapy for uterine fibroids. While hysterectomy remains
the only definitive therapy for these benign tumors, the combination magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound technology, called the ExAblate 2000
System, could offer selected patients a less invasive alternative to surgery.
Uterine fibroids are found in approximately 20% to 40% of women over
the age of 35 years, with an estimated incidence as high as 75% in certain
high-risk populations. While many such tumors are asymptomatic, some are associated
with significant and disabling symptoms, ranging from prolonged menstrual
periods to urinary frequency and lower back and pelvic pain.
Ringold S. FDA Approves Ultrasound Fibroid Therapy. JAMA. 2004;292(23):2826. doi:10.1001/jama.292.23.2826